Bonjour à tous!
Some say that everyone is always telling us how to be happy, and we end up chasing this elusive state of happiness. If we just let go of the chase, happiness will come to us. Whilst I would tend to agree that chasing happiness isn’t the best way to go about it: I believe that there are little things that you can do each day in order to cultivate a content and happy life.
• 1 – Exercise Daily •
I know this might seem a little crazy, but making sure that you get in at least a small amount of exercise each day really works wonders. It releases endorphins in your brain which make you feel better, and it also helps to relieve stress and to have some time to yourself or with someone special. I like to do different amounts of exercise on different days to keep it interesting. Here are some examples of what I do:
- go on walks with my Dad and/or Mum
- go bike riding or running with Mr Czech
- go on hikes with Mr Czech
- ballet classes
- Swimming at the beach
Being in nature whilst exercising is really great, as you can see all of the beautiful trees and flowers surrounding you.
• 2 – Drink a cup of your favourite drink •
This kind of happiness is just a sort of quiet pleasure of being calm and in the moment. You can just sit and observe, let yourself relax, and quieten your mind. My drink of choice is, of course, a cup of tea. I just feel that there is nothing like a cup of tea for helping you to feel relaxed and calm, even in the midst of utter mayhem.
• 3 – Eat healthily •
Yes, this one is bandied about all of the time. But you’ve got to think: perhaps that is because it works?! In all seriousness: I am a recovering chocolate addict. You may think this is a joke. It isn’t. I would have more than one chocolate bar per day, and sometimes eat a whole family sized-bar in one sitting. Throw lots of biscuits and lollies into that equation, and we’re feeling bloated, upset and just generally yucky. About two weeks ago I watched That Sugar Film and it strengthened my resolve to try to quit.
For me, it works like this: I fully quit and don’t eat any sweets and sugar, or I have a little bit and then I fall into the trap and have a lot. For the past two weeks I have managed to completely quit! I am really proud of myself and I have also noticed that:
- my skin is improving
- it is easier for me to exercise
- I don’t experience as much bloating and *yucky* feelings in my belly
- I don’t spend as much money on my daily chocolate bar
And that certainly makes me happy!
• 4 – Yoga & Meditation •
I am aware that this can seem kind of New-Agey but once again, there is a reason why there are so many proponents of yoga and meditation. There is a reason why it has existed for centuries in India. Literally everything in your life is affected by your mind. You can do a new task, you can go overseas, you can spend time with friends – you are still always affected by your own mind. You cannot escape it.
Knowing this, it makes a lot of sense to cultivate a mind that you mostly enjoy spending time in. The way to do this? Meditation. Stilling the mind, allowing yourself to observe thoughts rather than being caught up in them, and therefore becoming calmer and more in the moment. Yoga helps create this as well, with the added benefit of being exercise for the body and helping you to become more flexible.
• 5 – Create beautiful Surroundings •
Beautiful things make me feel happy inside. I have created an environment within my room that makes me feel contentment about residing within it. It is clean and tidy, and it is filled with many objects and books that are the essence of me. Having a clean and organised room (or house) can do wonders for your state of mind. Some of the things I like to have in proximity to me in my room include:
- essential oils
Essential oils add that special bit extra for you – you can have them making your room smell beautiful, put them on as perfume – even put them on your skin to help prevent pimples! You need to make sure that you purchase pure oils without added chemicals. Companies that sell natural oils are actually allowed to keep 30% of their ingredient list secret – perfect for adding chemicals that you wouldn’t want near or on your body. A really great brand for essential oils is called Young Living, which you can purchase from Cheryl. I will have a post especially on essential oils in a few weeks!
• 6 – Be Grateful •
Being grateful is proven to improve your state of mind. Think of three things that you are grateful for each day, and write them down each night. It really helps to lift your mood. These things can be small, like being grateful that someone smiled at you today, or being grateful that you have a nice bed to sleep in. They can also be big, like being grateful for your family (like my beautiful sister Amy, pictured below), an upcoming holiday, or your partner. It’s up to you!
• 7 – Do more of what you enjoy •
It does depend on your life circumstances, but there are a lot of ways in this day and age that we can waste time without realising it. We could have spent this time on something we truly enjoyed. An example of this is scrolling through Facebook – sometimes you come back to reality to find half an hour has passed! Here is a little list of things that I do to experience enjoyment:
- read a book
- go out for a coffee with my friends
- practice yoga
- spend time with my family
- watch Netflix – documentaries, series and foreign films
- practice a foreign language
- hit the beach and watch the sunset
- spend time with Mr Czech
And that’s it! I hope you have got some ideas now for simple things you can do to cultivate happiness in your life.
What activities do you enjoy doing?